Assassin's Creed

Assassin's Creed Review for Xbox 360

On: Xbox 360PS3PCDS

Assassin's Creed is set in 1191 AD and puts the player in the role of Altair, a member of a group of assassins.

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8Out of 10
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Assassin's Creed is a fine game but has a few niggling problems
Assassin's Creed is a fine game but has a few niggling problems

Assassin's Creed is a fine game but has a few niggling problems

It's been a huge year for video games, and we've got more to come. Sadly they can't all be masterpieces, with many coming in under par or simply being good games that don't quite live up to expectations. Assassin's Creed is a good game, a game that I'd recommended everyone with a next-gen console experiences, but it's not the magnificent experience I and many others hoped it would be.

Right up until release the one thing that Ubisoft has been sure not to reveal is the twist in the storyline. This review won't spoil too many aspects of this, meaning you're safe to read on unless you absolutely don't want to know anything about the game prior to release. You play as Altair, an assassin who lived through the Third Crusade in 1191, but you don't exclusively play as him - I'll say no more.

The core goal is to restore your master's faith in you as an assassin by carrying out nine assassinations, which take you across the Holy Land, to Damascus, Acre, Jerusalem and Maysaf - with Maysaf being your initial gateway to the rest of the game world. This is really just a brief outline of the game. The full storyline is far deeper, featuring the expected twists and revelations, plus some infrequent and rather unexpected gameplay that will likely polarize opinion.

One of the most impressive aspects of the game is its size. The three main cities are huge, split into three distinct districts and full of citizens, guards, speakers, thugs, merchant stands, buildings, and just about everything you'd expect to see in a city from that era. The streets are full of people, and by full I mean packed. The first time you see Maysaf your jaw will hit the floor due to the game's beauty, but it's not until you walk the streets of one of the three main cities that you'll see what the game engine is really capable of. We've seen crowds in games before, but in Assassin's Creed it's been taken to a new level.

'We've seen crowds in games before, but in Assassin's Creed it's been taken to a new level.'

It's not just cosmetic either, although why that's the case needs a little explanation. When you enter a city you do so in order to find and assassinate a target. The process is practically the same throughout the game. Firstly you go to the Assassins Bureau in order to get some tips on where to look for clues about your target. You then head off into that area, which is usually in an area of the game map that's lacking detail. In order to draw this information onto your in-game map you need to scale numerous view points, which in turn displays the location of investigations.

Investigations are essential to your preparation, with each assassination needing a handful of investigations before you can carry out the deed. They can take a number of forms: eves dropping, pick pocketing, carrying out tasks for informants (collecting flags, stealth killing people) and interrogation (beating people up). I found pickpocketing and eves dropping to be by far the easiest, with both barely requiring more than pressing a button at the right time. The others are more difficult, especially the informant missions that require you to stealth kill people while walking the busy streets.

All the time you have to be aware of the guards and your current social status. Act like a normal citizen and you'll be fine, but act like a crazy man and the guards will get suspicious and start watching you. If your on-screen status starts flashing red it's time to take a low profile, and if that red dot gets bigger it's time to leg it. It's here that the game's huge number of citizens come into play. Imagine running through Oxford Street in London over your lunch hour, and you'll get some idea of what trying to outrun guards in Assassin's Creed is like - except you can take to the roofs.

It looks stunning and the visuals are a reason to play the game

It looks stunning and the visuals are a reason to play the game

Altair is highly agile, meaning he can leap from rooftop to rooftop, scale buildings and generally run across anything. When this works Assassin's Creed is at its brilliant best, with the feeling of freedom being unlike anything I've played, but it sadly doesn't always work as you want. Climbing can itself cause problems, with Altair often unwilling to lift himself up to a ledge that is clearly within reach. The guards are also great at throwing things at you, so you'll often be moments from pulling yourself onto a rooftop and then fall off after being hit by a rock or arrow. It might be smart AI, but it makes for highly annoying gameplay.

It doesn't help that the free-running aspect is a little hit and miss. Altair will run and jump in whichever direction you're pointing, so if you accidentally point off a building that has nothing beyond it except for a huge drop, you'll be falling - although it's never to your death - and even when you do die, you usually don't lose too much progress. Part of the problem stems from the way free-running works. You have to hold Right Trigger (Xbox 360) or R1 (PS3) as well as A (Xbox 360) or X (PS3). This then prevents you from manually controlling the camera with the right analogue stick, which in turn causes a few awkward camera angles and wayward jumps.

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User Comments

Reynoldimo's Avatar


Just bought for £6, well worth it so far! Hopefully a fun little prelude to get me excited for 2 which I ordered for £9. Really liking it so far, but totally agree with the review, it is a bit samey.
Posted 22:52 on 28 May 2011
safc's Avatar


i dont know how this is only rated 8, it should be rated 10 or 9 this is one of the best games ever ive completed this game and it was awsome. anyone who loves adventure games buy this game, assassins creed ftw!!!!!
Posted 09:21 on 11 February 2009
David's Avatar
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This review nailed it. Gorgeous game, but incredibly repetitive with many unnecessarily annoying elements. Gets better toward the end, but drudgery to get there. Definitely overrated, and I struggle to understand those who are infatuated with this title. This was in the same category as Bioshock for me -- pretty, groundbreaking, unique, but significantly flawed.
Posted 02:10 on 24 December 2008
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Posted 20:32 on 07 December 2008
Shark82's Avatar


I'm buying this this weekend. I was excited about it when it first came out. It sounded like a great story and good game play. Then I read some so-so reviews and, combined with not having the money, forgot about it. Now it's only $30 and my friend has been recommending it to me for a while now. This review recommends it also, so I'll take my chances
Posted 23:53 on 12 November 2008
FantasyMeister's Avatar


I picked it up recently too when it went into the Classics range (£19.99 over here in the UK). Personally I loved it to bits, especially when I ranked up a few times and got the Counter Attack ability which really made combat more fun.

It's now on my 'to get round to' pile of games for when I want to go flag collecting and rack up some perfect assassinations for the achievements. (Fallout 3 has kinda replaced it in the meantime).

I was aware of Tom's review at the time of purchase, but his concerns about repetitiveness and awkward running didn't arise in my case, different strokes for different folks I guess, but they are valid concerns for some gamers.
Posted 23:50 on 12 November 2008
Eddie's Avatar
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I think one of the most goddamn annoying things about this games NPCs are the beggars and the retarded/drunk ones that attack you for no reason.

Occaisionally grabbing and throwing a beggar (because they're so goddamn whiny and annoying) and will land them into a merchant stall and kill them, thus you have to run.

The ones that hit you do it mostly when you need to stay in low profile, and they knock you out of it for a second, enough time to get spotted -_-.

But yeah good game though.
Posted 07:58 on 11 October 2008
HADI's Avatar
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Posted 18:00 on 06 October 2008
Tugs's Avatar


Hopefully they'll take our advice and fix up the next one to make it epic.

Still love Parkour. I think if the guards weren't as quick and skilled in that department as Altair, then it would be TOO easy to escape and therefore not very exciting. Just how I love the guards throwing rocks. Not only guards, but beggars. If you climb a wall around a beggar she flips out and starts yelling at you and throwing rocks. If you jump down she runs for her life. Maybe she's smarter than she is annoying... hmmm...

Yay for AI.

Still love it.
Posted 22:30 on 06 July 2008
Dominico's Avatar
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It is very repetitive with very little variation in the voice acting of the ordinary people of the city but its still a great game. Just to see the detail of the city etc is great. Unfortunately this reviewer has made a major error no reviewer should make. He gave it a bad score because he is bad at it. This doesnt mean the game is bad because you try to escape by climbing walls when the enemy is near. Its amazing that they throw stones at you or it would be pointless.

Not the perfect game but very good nonetheless. I would give it a 9.
Posted 01:15 on 17 May 2008
Insd34th's Avatar
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Stunning graphics and animations, but extremely repetitive. The first two hours were great, as were the last ones, but in between thebeginning and ending, it was repeat, repeat, repeat, and repeat. I hope Assassin's Creed 2 is gonna be alot better.

A shame actuall, I was looking forward to this game for months...I did enjoy it, but not as much as I had hoped. It is among the better games I played, but definatel not in m top 3 list.
Posted 18:13 on 16 April 2008
bob mcavoy's Avatar
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bob mcavoy

the game is propbably one of the best for graphics but i totaly agree with you i definitly think it's too repetitive and awkward sometimes but generally a really good game. recomend renting the game first because you either hate it or love it.
Posted 18:51 on 02 April 2008
School's Avatar
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Omg! I can't google and find the Maysaf flags anywhere!!! I'm so mad! I hate school blackades! :/
Posted 18:49 on 05 March 2008

Game Stats

Technical Specs
Assassin's Creed
Out of 10
Assassin's Creed
  • Roaming the cities is great
  • Stunning visuals
  • Free-running can be awkward
  • Very repetitive
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 16/11/2007
Platforms: Xbox 360 , PS3 , PC , DS
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Publisher: Ubisoft
Genre: Action
No. Players: One
Rating: BBFC 15
Site Rank: 1,776 371
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